Contrary to popular belief the sun did rise this morning sometime around 6:54 AM this morning although we'll wait for James Spann to confirm. This is the first day in over 17 years that Alabama Football fans have woken up and Nick Saban is not the head coach of the Alabama Football team. The news came as a shock to many with no rumors of potential retirement, no press conference, and no official farewell. The immediate focus now is on the hunt for the next Alabama Football head coach, rumors are swirling but, we won't touch on that until there's official news. There are a few takeaways in the immediate aftermath of Nick Saban's retirement.
Ryan Williams decommits from Alabama
Around two hours after the announcement of Nick Saban's retirement the Alabama Football team's top recruit in the 2024 recruiting class Ryan Williams decommitted. This is a massive blow to the Alabama recruiting class and could be the first of many decommitments. The longer the Alabama Football program is without a head coach the more likely we are to see decommitments as rival programs will swoop in to poach some of the Nation's top talents.
Past, Current, and Future players react to the news
Whether it was current, former, or past players many Alabama Football players took to social media to react to Nick Saban's departure. Here are reactions from one of each with reactions from signee Casey Poe, current player Yhonzae Pierre, and former player Mark Ingram.
We should've gotten a different goodbye to Nick Saban
Nick Saban retired on his own terms informing his team of his decision and driving off into the sunset with a police escort as he left the Mal Moore Athletic Facility. For an old-school coach like Nick Saban, this is the way he'd want to go out with no media circus, no tribute videos, and no distractions for the Alabama Football team. However, it feels weird for an absolute icon of the sport and a coach as important to Tuscaloosa as Nick Saban to not get some sort of an official farewell. Nick Saban's final home game at Tuscaloosa coming against Chatanooga while a majority of the students were away on Thanksgiving break or chose to watch the game elsewhere doesn't seem right. Nick Saban knows how much he means to the state of Alabama and college football as a whole but, I believe he should've gotten his moment.
Toomer's corner was finally rolled again
Rolling Toomer's corner has been an Auburn tradition reserved for massive wins in Auburn sports. However, the tradition is at rock bottom with Auburn Tiger fans rolling Toomer's Corner after hearing the news of Nick Saban's retirement. Maybe they finally believe this is their chance, maybe they think Saban leaving Alabama means Alabama is no longer Alabama, or maybe this is just the biggest win for Seniors who never saw their school beat Nick Saban. Whatever the reason may be rolling Toomer's Corner because a coach retired has to be the most Auburn behavior of all time.
What does Nick Saban's retirement mean for Cedric Burns?
Anyone who's watched Alabama Football games has seen the man seemingly attached to Nick Saban's hip but, probably isn't familiar with Cedric Burns. Burns is the Alabama Football team's relations coordinator and a personal assistant to Nick Saban. The longtime Alabama Football staffer has been with the program starting as an assistant for Bear Bryant in 1979 and all the way through Nick Saban's tenure. Cedric Burns is the human embodiment of Alabama Football and regardless of who takes the head coaching reins, they should certainly offer Cedric Burns a position on the staff.
Nick Saban worked until the very last minute of his time at Alabama
Despite being just hours from announcing he'd be retiring from the game for good Nick Saban continued to work until he officially hung 'em up forever. According to Nick Kelly of Tuscaloosa News, Nick Saban was conducting interviews right up until he retired. This comes as no shock as that's the type of coach Nick Saban was, similar to when he took the head coaching job at Michigan State telling the schools they'd have to wait for him to finish his duties with the Cleveland Browns.
Nick Saban student tribute was done right
As the news broke many students and fans wished they could show their gratitude for Nick Saban and with no way to reach the man they did the next best thing. Fans visited Saban's statue on the Walk of Champions, leaving behind his signature Little Debbie's Oatmeal Cream Pies and bottles of Coke which became synonymous with Saban and his press conferences especially when the media was told to ask the bottle but, don't ask coach. Students gathered around the Statue singing Sweet Home Alabama and Dixieland Delight as the fans faced the reality that Coach Saban was no longer the Alabama Football head coach.
Nick Saban Field at Bryant-Denny Stadium?
The stadium where the Alabama Football team plays already has two namesakes in Paul Bear Bryant and George H Denny. However, the field on which the games are played does not, and who would be a better namesake than Nick Saban? We saw the Duke Basketball program do the same thing for Coach K with Cameron Indoor already having its namesake. There will certainly be a building or fields named after Nick Saban on the Alabama campus but, none would be a better fit than naming the field he dominated opponents on.
Alabama Football: Nick Saban made a massive promise and delivered above expectations
Following the 2009 National Championship Nick Saban addressed a crowd in Bryant-Denny Stadium telling fans a bold statement that he lived up to in the years to follow.
"I want everybody here to know this is not the end this is the beginning"- Nick Saban
The fanbase was thrilled they just ended a 17-year draught of no national championships and yet, Saban told everyone this wasn't the peak. Crazy enough he was right they'd go on to win back-to-back championships in 2011 and 2012, and they'd then win three more in 2015, 2017, and 2020. Nick Saban's run of dominance is something we will never see achieved again in College Football let alone any major sport in America. Then again, the same thing was written when Bear Bryant retired from the sport.